PR Firm Gets Nasty Over Duke Nukem Reviews
Posted on Wednesday, June 15 @ 09:49:59 Eastern by Anthony Severino
We get most of our games for free. Part of it is because we're so damn cool. The other part is because PR reps want GR's seal of approval (our unbiased reviews) on their games.
That's one of the great things about our job. The bad part, is that both PR reps and publishers can get pissed when we hand out an exceptionally low grade. Most realize it's our job to be critical; we have a responsibility to our readers to point out a gem, or declare when something is pure shit.
Then there are some that just don't understand, and blame us for a game getting poor review scores. That's the sort of the case with what happened last night with Duke Nukem Forever.
The Redner Group broke an unwritten rule of the gaming industry last night when they said the following over their twitter account:
This quickly turned into something far less threatening:
The next morning my inbox, and likely the inbox of a number of other journalists, had a heartfelt apology waiting from Jim Redner, head of the PR firm.
Jim's a great guy, and I'm sure it's frustrating to see the game you've spent so long working with get torn to pieces in reviews. But here's the thing. The threat of blacklisting websites from getting future review copies is a huge no-no. It doesn't just make The Redner Group look bad, or Duke Nukem Forever look bad (and trust me, it looks bad), but it makes the publisher, 2K Games, look bad.
What likely happened was, the mere mention of blacklisting hard-working journalists, put The Redner Group at risk of being blacklisted themselves. But by 2K Games.
That's not to say that Jim Redner's apology wasn't genuine. I'm sure it was. I'm sure any comment made was instantly regretted, and was an act of frustration and anger. We've all been there. We all make mistakes. Especially when we're feeling attacked.
I'm posting this piece for a few reasons: To show some of what goes on behind the scenes in this industry, to show our readers that we put our necks on the line with each and every review we publish, and to clear Jim Redner's good name. Shit happens. He quickly realized the mistake, and apologized for it. That's more than what I can say for other PR reps and firms.
Our review of Duke Nukem Forever is coming soon, and sorry Jim, but it's likely filled with venom. The game sucks.
[Update] 2K Games has spoken out on Twitter stating that they don't condone the comments made by The Redner Group and are no longer have them representing 2K Games' products.
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